Hanging Leg Raises

Bored of crunches and other abs exercises? Why not try hanging leg raises, an exercise many believe helps to develop the lower abdominal area more than most do.

As you’ve probably guessed, this exercise involves hanging – by your hands, of course – from some kind of bar overhead with sufficient clearance from the ground, so you can hang loose without your feet touching the floor.

Now, here’s how to do it…

Take a hold of a bar hanging overhead using an overhand grip – palms forward – as you would for chin ups. Hold your legs stiff, feet together. Now, with your legs remaining straight and together aim to bring them up as far as possible (beyond parallel is great) and then lower them slowly. Repeat this for multiple reps.

If you have difficulty…

When you first begin doing this exercise, don’t be surprised if you can’t bring your legs up much at all. If this is the case, then allow your legs to bend at the knee, and simply aim to bring your thighs up parallel. Then begin adding weight by gripping a dumbbell between your feet. Once you’ve developed some strength using the bent-knee version, you will be able to better perform the legs-straight version which will give greater tension in the Iliopsoas (lower abs) region you are targeting.

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